Higher Rank Quantum Spin Liquids: From Fractons to Emergent Gravity

Speaker: Michael Pretko, MIT

When: March 29, 2017 (Wed), 02:00PM to 03:00PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 328

This event is part of the Condensed Matter Theory Seminar Series.

Quantum spin liquids are well described in the language of gauge theory. To date, most theoretical effort has focused on the study of models with a familiar vector gauge field. However, there exist stable spin liquids with more complicated gauge structure. In this talk, I will focus on three-dimensional spin liquid phases described by symmetric tensor (“higher spin”) gauge fields. I will show that these models possess exotic conservation laws which restrict the gauge charges to exist in lower-dimensional subspaces, as opposed to propagating in three-dimensional space. Some charges are even restricted to a zero-dimensional subspace and are totally immobile, in a manifestation of the fracton phenomenon. As a special case, I will discuss rank 2 symmetric tensor spin liquids, which provide us with toy models for emergent gravity.